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Rights of women in the workplace – laws every Indian employer should know

17 Apr 2023

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This article was first published by International Employment Lawyer.

By Veena Gopalakrishnan (Partner), Vinduja Menon (Associate), and Simranjeet Kaur (Associate).

The world celebrated International Women’s Day last month and it was heartening to see organisations, both large and small, take steps to understand and #embraceequity. That being said, employers often use the month to celebrate their female workforce but leave much to be desired in the steps that they take for accelerating gender parity at the workplace. The World Economic Forum, in its Global Gender Gap Report, 2022, ranked India at 135 out of 146 countries in terms of gender gap, and noted that gender parity is not recovering and that it would take another 132 years to close the global gender gap.

While gender inequality can be attributed to several systemic socio-economic, and political causes, organisations and employers have great potential in driving change and bridging the gap. A first step would be for employers to understand and comply with the laws applicable to women at the workplace. In this this article, we aim to provide a quick overview of employment related rights available to women employed by private sector organisations in India.

Constitutionally guaranteed rights: The Constitution of India, considered the supreme law of the land, itself guarantees every person equality before the law and prohibits discrimination against any citizen based on sex. The Constitution also guarantees to citizens of India, the right to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

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